Canada's Special Relationship With The Netherlands

Because Canada was instrumental in liberating the Netherlands in World War 2, Canada has a special relationship with the Netherlands that doesn't get enough attention. Especially when the Dutch spend most a fair bit of effort cultivating it.

Canada is no superpower or even great power, we don't have relationships with many countriies like the US, UK, France, or China does. We don't have great power or a long history to draw upon. We have an advantage here.

So I'll be starting by cheering for the Netherlands in the World Cup of soccer.

Teacher's passion for history nets award - Brandon Sun (external - login to view)

Teacher's passion for history nets award

By: Jillian Austin
13/06/2010 1:00 AM | Comments: 1 (external - login to view)

[IMG]*486/100613+wark+zaans-b50.1.jpg[/IMG] SUBMITTED Enlarge Image

History teacher Loralea Wark, above, second from right, with sunglasses, has been awarded the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation for her contribution to the remembrance of the contributions, sacrifices and achievements of veterans. She has taken several students to Vimy Ridge, right, and Holland, above.

In the past three years, teacher Loralea Wark has taken high school students overseas for your not-so-typical field trip.

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Through the Canadian war history class that Wark created, students have had the opportunity to visit Vimy Ridge, the Canadian battlefields in Belgium, France and England, and most recently Holland to participate in the 65th anniversary celebrations of the Liberation of The Netherlands.

"I found there was a serious lack of teaching of this kind of history in our curriculum," Wark said. "If we don't remember, we're going to forget."
For her efforts, Wark was awarded with the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation in Winnipeg yesterday.

According to Veterans Affairs Canada, the commendation is awarded annually to individuals who have contributed in an exemplary manner to the care and well-being of veterans, or to the remembrance of the contributions, sacrifices and achievements of veterans.

The commendation is intended primarily for veterans, but may be awarded to civilians who have gone above and beyond.

"I was speechless, and that doesn't happen very often," Wark said, with a laugh. "I couldn't believe it ... I had no idea. It's still a bit surreal. I do what I love to do because I love it. I don't expect to get this kind of credit."

Wark was born and raised in Brandon and went on to graduate from Brandon University with her teaching degree. She is now in Yellowknife, teaching at École St. Patrick High School.

Wark said her 38 students came to her classroom every Wednesday night for an hour and a half for eight months. She knew it paid off overseas when she saw the students truly understand the significance of their trip.

"It's really emotional," Wark said. "Lots of times teens especially get bad press ... But when you see them in a cemetery laying poppies and whispering, 'Thank you' ... and they're so deep in thought about what they've seen ... It's indescribable," Wark said.

In Amsterdam, the students participated in the national moment of silence in Dam Square. They also visited Anne Frank's house, attended the Last Post ceremony at Menin Gate and a military tattoo, along with the Liberation Parade in Wageningen.

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 13, 2010
According to the CBC through Twitter and Facebook, Netherlands is number two in Canadian affections in the World Cup, after Germany and before England.

17% Germany
14% Netherlands
10% Brazil

Match on Demand: Paraguay vs. Spain - Sports - 2010 FIFA World Cup

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